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Cover ArtWine to water : a bartender’s quest to bring clean water to the world
by Hendley, Doc
Inspiring read. How a single person can make a difference.   posted Mar 14, 2013 at 10:53AM

Cover ArtClatterford. The complete season three [videorecording]
by Fletcher, Mandie.
Charming series. Too bad it has been cancelled.   posted Jun 29, 2011 at 1:02PM

Cover ArtTroublesome Creek [videorecording] : a Midwestern
by Jordan, Jeanne.
Excellent documentary on the decline of the family farm in America.   posted Mar 26, 2011 at 9:39PM

Cover ArtValentino [videorecording] : the last emperor
Exquisite! Stunning! You’ll love the beauty of this retrospective on Valentino. Even the extra features are a joy. And, you’ll see how Valentino controls how is image or brand is portrayed for the camera. . . a lesson that many people could learn.   posted Mar 24, 2011 at 2:01PM

Cover ArtRebus. Set 1, The falls [videorecording]
by Evans, Matthew
Great cop drama set in Edinburgh, Scotland. You’ll even be treated to some of the famous landmarks. The Brits seem to make some of the best police dramas with realistic characters. Rebus is a flawed and somewhat tortured soul. And, unlike American shows where the male actors look as if they just walked out of GQ and the police women are all cleavage, the Brits are so much more believable.   posted Mar 22, 2011 at 5:24PM

Cover ArtZero regrets : be greater than yesterday
by Ohno, Apolo Anton.
I was surprised at how good this book actually was. Ohno does have some inspiring insights into success and hard work. In fact, he backs up his motivation with examples in his own life. It’s not hard to want to emulate Ohno and his work ethic. Check out the audio version since it has Ohno himself reading the book. In fact, you’ll hear the enthusiasm in his voice. You won’t be disappointed with this read. You may wish to pass it on to teen and young adult readers as well.   posted Mar 7, 2011 at 8:04PM

Cover ArtSongcatcher [DVD]
by Greenwald, Maggie.
Great little flick. You’ll appreciate our musical heritage after viewing this film. Wish more films were made like this one.   posted Feb 17, 2011 at 11:47AM

Cover ArtHuck : the remarkable true story of how one lost puppy taught a family-- and a w
by Elder, Janet
Inspiration tale about a family’s search for their beloved pet. In fact, it’s a primer in case you ever do lose your pet. Starts slow, but after a third of the way through, you won’t want to put it down. Don’t worry it has a happy ending.   posted Feb 2, 2011 at 10:16AM

Cover ArtHow about you [videorecording]
Fun little flick with some great talent. A real heart-warmer.   posted Jan 17, 2011 at 12:39PM

Cover ArtThe jewel in the crown [videorecording]
by Morahan, Christopher.
This historical fiction gives the viewer a look at India during WWII and Indian independence. An unusual drama that will keep you intrigued. Watch closely and you’ll see how the two new states of India and Pakistan emerge. It’s also a good lesson on class structure during the English colonial period.   posted Dec 14, 2010 at 1:01AM

Cover ArtNo way down : life and death on K2
by Bowley, Graham
Excellent. Thrilling. Suspenseful. A real page turner. Bowley, who has no background in mountaineering, has tamed this subject so even us non-climbers will understand the adventure and tragedy of summitting the deadly K2.   posted Dec 9, 2010 at 9:58AM

Cover ArtThe station agent [videorecording]
by McCarthy, Tom
A quirky little film that somehow makes you smile. Three odd characters meet and form a trio of soon-to-be friends. You just want to join the group. At the beginning I was hesitant about watching the rest of it, but it soon warmed up. I’d watch this flick again. Give it a try.   posted Dec 6, 2010 at 10:39PM

Cover ArtIs it just me? : Or is it nuts out there?
by Goldberg, Whoopi
Pointless. Goldberg has a great list of her pet peeves, but the people who should be reading this book will never pick it up. It’s like preaching to the choir. Perhaps Goldberg should have told what the rest of us should do about boorish behavior, then the book would have made sense.   posted Nov 29, 2010 at 6:08PM

Cover ArtBig Red of Meadow Stable : Secretariat, the making of a champion
by Nack, William.
The original book on Secretariat by the sportswriter who was there. Published after the big horse’s last race, it goes into the history and bloodlines of this Triple Crown winner. There’s something about holding and reading a book that’s actually 35 years old. What a treasure.   posted Nov 21, 2010 at 12:42PM

Cover ArtSimon King’s African skies [videorecording] : the serenity of wilderness
If you’re seeking serenity, this video is great. The perfect meditation video.   posted Nov 18, 2010 at 1:58PM

Cover ArtParadise General : riding the surge at a combat hospital in Iraq
by Hnida, Dave
Terrific book. If you loved the movie and TV series, MASH, you’ll truly enjoy this non-fiction book. Dr. Hnida gives us his unique view of the Iraq War. You’ll laugh and cry with him as he goes on his daily rounds. The audio version gives you an even better feel for what Dr. Hnida experienced. The narrator is one of the best readers out there!   posted Oct 28, 2010 at 10:44PM

Cover ArtScent of the missing : love and partnership with a search-and-rescue dog
by Charleson, Susannah
Great book! If you love dogs or are interested in how Search and Rescue is conducted, you’ll enjoy this book. You’ll be amazed at the intricacies involved in Search and Rescue and how the dogs and their handlers do the job. And, you’ll get a glimpse into one handler’s life. Meet the dogs and handlers now.   posted Oct 21, 2010 at 8:57AM

Cover ArtDirt! [videorecording] : the movie
by Benenson, Bill
Great documentary. This should be a mandatory movie for young and old.   posted Sep 10, 2010 at 10:01AM

Cover ArtNorth by Northwestern : a seafaring family on deadly Alaskan waters
by Hansen, Sig
You don’t have to be a fan of the TV series, The Deadliest Catch, to enjoy this book. If you’re of Norwegian ancestry, you’ll discover how Norse settlers came to Seattle and continued their fishing legacy. And, you’ll learn about the history of the fishing town of Ballard, WA and how it has changed since those Norwegians first claimed it as their home.   posted Aug 30, 2010 at 1:01AM

Cover ArtBottle shock [videorecording]
A great true story about how the California wine industry went up againt the idolized French wineries. Unfortunately, the movie doesnt’ do justice to the story. Bottle Shock would make a great documentary. Someone please retell this fascinating story!   posted Jul 26, 2010 at 6:18PM

Cover ArtOn a clear day [videorecording]
by Dellal, Gaby
Great little British flick. You’ll swim the English channel with this recently unemployed guy and you’ll see his story through his families eyes as well. I’d watch it again.   posted Jul 26, 2010 at 6:10PM

Cover ArtAudition : a memoir
by Walters, Barbara
Barbara, Barbara, Barbara. Edit, edit, edit. You need to learn this one simple lesson. . . edit. If you wanted to include every minute of your life, then write several books under various themes. I had to literally return this book three times and request it again because it was that long.   posted Jul 26, 2010 at 6:08PM

Cover ArtMaking rounds with Oscar : the extraordinary gift of an ordinary cat
by Dosa, David
An intriguing true-life story with Oscar as the hero. This feline is a resident at a nursing home. And, Oscar seems to know when death is approaching a dementia patient as he chooses to sit with the person when the time has come. Whether you enjoy cats or know a family member with this disease, this book is for you. Entwined in the story are important aspects of the disease encountered by the patient and family. You’ll definitely come away with a better understanding of dementia and you’ll wonder what this little cat knows that the medical community hasn’t yet unraveled. If you have someone facing this disease, this book will help and console you.   posted Jul 7, 2010 at 4:40PM

Cover ArtCurious cats
by Iwago, Mitsuaki
Love cats? You’ll love this little coffee table book. Award-winning Japanese photographer Mitsuaki Iwago has traveled the world for National Geographic and Life magazine photographing wildlife. He claims that none of the exotic species has captured his attention and heaart as much as domestic cats. Iwago has collected his finest kitty shots to share with us from his 30 years worth of photographs. Add this book to your collection!   posted Jul 1, 2010 at 7:52PM

Cover ArtThis time together [sound recording] : [laughter and reflection]
by Burnett, Carol.
Great book. Read by the affable Carol herself. That makes it extra special as only she knows the little vignettes into her life so well. Cute stories you’ll want to share with your friends. By all means, get the audio version!   posted Jun 17, 2010 at 7:50PM

Cover ArtA big little life : a memoir of a joyful dog
by Koontz, Dean R. 1945-
One of the best books out there about a dog and his people. Famed author Dean Koontz, who wasn’t a pet owner, reveals how this very special dog changed the life of his wife and him. Touching anecdotes that will amaze every animal lover. Koontz delves into the spiritual aspects of pet ownership, too. Trixie, a former working dog to a disabled person, is truly astounding in how she understands the human world. Put this on every animal lover’s gift list!   posted Jun 3, 2010 at 6:46PM

Cover ArtPaul and Me : fifty-three years of adventures and misadventures with my pal Paul
by Hotchner, A. E.
GREAT book!!!! It truly is the adventures and misadventures of this famous friendship. Get a behind the scenes peek at how the Newman’s Own dynasty began with these two friends. You’ll laugh at the antics these two guys finds themselves in. Check out the audio version of this book as Hotchner reads it himself giving it his own humorous view of the duo’s time together. Great laughs, great fun, great book!   posted Jun 3, 2010 at 6:38PM

Cover ArtToots [videorecording]
Great documentary about legendary restauranteur Toots Shore. The flick proves to be a great historical look at NY City as well as a look at the nightlife.   posted May 16, 2010 at 4:52PM

Cover ArtDogs & devotion
by Monks of New Skete.
Neat little book. A real treasure. Perfect for the dog lover or the spiritual searcher.   posted May 12, 2010 at 5:45PM

Cover ArtFierce style : how to be your most fabulous self
by Siriano, Christian
I’m surprised. . . I really enjoyed this little book. I thought it would be all about determining if you were an apple or pear shape and then the type of clothes you needed to wear to hide your flaws. That isn’t what this book is about at all! Siriano encourages the reader to find her own style and then own it. There’s tips on how to find and declare your style or statement. The author does a lengthy section on combating criticism and uses examples from his own life. Definitely a worthwhile read.   posted May 10, 2010 at 11:31PM

Cover ArtA million miles in a thousand years : what I learned while editing my life
by Donald Miller
A great mix of how to write a better life story for yourself, as well as some actual writing tips. A great book to re-read.   posted May 4, 2010 at 9:54PM

Cover ArtDeath at a funeral [videorecording]
Sharp, funny movie! The actors are terrific. Would watch this one repeatedly.   posted Apr 16, 2010 at 9:38AM

Cover ArtInvincible summer [sound recording]
One of K.D.’s best albums! Every cut is a keeper you’ll enjoy hearing again and again!   posted Apr 7, 2010 at 11:34AM

Cover ArtDear James : letters to a young illustrator
by Blechman, R. O. 1930-
Great little book especially for commercial artists or writers. He tells it like it is. Perfect graduation or Christmas gift for the person who’s thinking about entering either of these professions.   posted Apr 1, 2010 at 11:33AM

Cover ArtPursuit of honor [sound recording] : [a novel]
by Flynn, Vince.
Must agree with Nitetrain’s review. Flynn’s novel before Pursuit of Honor described torture scenes. Now, Pursuit of Honor, while not into torture description, did defend the use of it. Flynn’s earlier works were so much better. . . and thrilling.   posted Mar 27, 2010 at 11:00PM

Cover ArtGame change : Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the race of a lifeti
by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
Excellent account of the election. A great opportunity to discover what the candidates really think and how they speak out of earshot of the public. You may be surprised to learn what your candidate is really like.   posted Mar 27, 2010 at 10:50PM

Cover ArtMinnesota in 3D : a look back in time : with built-in stereoscope viewer, your g
by Voyageur Press.
Experience the past with this 3-D book! There’s a stereoscope in it so you can view photos just like your ancestors did. It takes a little practice to get the ’glasses’ to work, but when you do, it’s magic! The horses and buggies traveling down Hennepin Ave. seem to jump off the page! Don’t miss this unique opportunity!!!   posted Mar 12, 2010 at 8:47PM

Cover ArtRead my pins : stories from a diplomat’s jewel box
by Albright, Madeleine Korbel.
Whether you’re a jewelry aficionado, political junkie or art lover, you’ll treasure this unique book. Albright shares her enthusiasm for brooches and weaves meaning into each carefully selected pin for her daily wardrobe. You’ll learn the history of the brooche and how it’s played a part in many governments through history. A beautiful book that would add interest to any coffee table!   posted Feb 23, 2010 at 11:04PM

Cover ArtHighest duty : my search for what really matters
by Chesley B. Sullenberger
Don’t believe that Sullenberger and writer Jeff Zaslow really answered the pilot’s subtitle of My Search for What Really Matters. But what you do get is a glimpse behind the scenes of the airline industry. Sully reveals that in this age of airline cost-cutting, he is now relegated to packing his own lunch for long flights. He eats his peanut butter sandwich as he smells the aroma of the first class dinner. You’ll be surprised at some of these insights!   posted Feb 11, 2010 at 10:52PM

Cover ArtHighest duty : my search for what really matters
by Chesley B. Sullenberger
Don’t believe that Sullenberger and writer Jeff Zaslow really answered the pilot’s subtitle of   posted Feb 10, 2010 at 12:06AM

Cover ArtConversations from the neighborhood ice cream shop : 8 keys to rediscovering los
by Stockdale, Denny.
Clever little book filled with acronyms for life’s lessons. Written by a Twin Cities life coach. Nice little inspirational piece that would make a great gift.   posted Feb 9, 2010 at 11:56PM

Cover ArtGoing rogue : an American life
by Sarah Palin
Disappointing. A poorly written bio that had the potential for an interesting read. If you lean right, I’d suggest Losing Mum & Pup, a memoir about William F. Buckley by his son. . . or any book by Republican speechwriter Peggy Noonan. Now these people can write and have your rooting for them. If you lean left, consider Ted Kennedy’s book, True Compass. It has substance and and excellent look into Kennedy’s childhood which made him the adult he turned out to be. And, if you’re non-political, check out tennis star Andre Agassi’s autobiography, Open. The writing is superb. In other words, don’t waste your precious hours on Going Rogue.   posted Jan 25, 2010 at 8:50PM

Cover ArtOpen : an autobiography
by Andre Agassi
One of the best autobiographies I’ve ever read. And, I’ve added it to my permanent collection. The writing is excellent. The story is compelling. Get into the mind of one of the great tennis professionals. The reader senses what Agassi feels every time he plays a match. Agassi devotes a page at the end of the book to herald the ghost writer who penned this book. I’ve already signed up for J.R. Moehringer’s other work. Don’t miss this autobiography. It will open you to a new vision of tennis!   posted Jan 25, 2010 at 8:30PM

Cover ArtHomer’s odyssey [sound recording] : [a fearless feline tale, or how I learned ab
by Cooper, Gwen.
Great little book. The audio version has a special section from the author and her husband which gives even more insight into this cat and his two siblings. An excellent gift for the cat lover. And, no, there aren’t any sad endings to this little tale.   posted Jan 5, 2010 at 8:35PM

Cover ArtHomer’s odyssey [sound recording] : [a fearless feline tale, or how I learned ab
by Cooper, Gwen.
Great little book. The audio version has a special section from the author and her husband which gives even more insight into this cat and his two   posted Jan 5, 2010 at 8:34PM

Cover ArtLosing Mum and Pup : a memoir
by Christopher Buckley
One of best written books I’ve ever read! Smart, sharp and sassy.. . and a short read. I recommend the audio version read by the author. He gives it just the inflection it deserves. Readers get an intriguing insight into William F. Buckley’s last days.   posted Nov 1, 2009 at 11:49PM

Cover ArtThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society [sound recording]
by Shaffer, Mary Ann.
Great book. I especially recommend the audio version. You get an even better feel for the characters. . . and you’re treated to a bit of WWII history, too. The book ended all too soon leaving the reader wishing there would be a sequel. An excellent gift for the holidays.   posted Nov 1, 2009 at 11:44PM

Cover ArtOutliers [sound recording] : the story of success
by Gladwell, Malcolm
Interesting assessment of success, but also depressing. According to Gladwell, success doesn’t depend on brains or hard work, it’s whether you are lucky enough to get a break. And, that break could be a good family, the right school, the perfect culture or happenstance.   posted Apr 15, 2009 at 12:48PM

Cover ArtLiving well emotionally : break through to a life of happiness
by Williams, Montel
Not a bad little book. Don’t expect to find a Montel Williams expose here. It’s strictly informational. . . helping you see life differently and increasing your happiness level. Easy to read and understand.   posted Apr 15, 2009 at 12:45PM

Cover ArtThe Huffington Post complete guide to blogging
Not a bad little book on blogging. Many of the "beginner" blogging books are daunting. . . providing info that only the most experienced would understand. The Huffington Post Guide gets to the basics. It’s written in a straight-forward manner. I got a lot of good advice for my own blog. Part of the book relates the importance of blogging in the world of media today. A less interesting section of the book reprints past posts from the Huffington blog. Great book for the inexperienced blogger.   posted Jan 21, 2009 at 10:46AM

Cover ArtHow we lead matters : reflections on a life of leadership
by Marilyn Carlson Nelson ; with Deborah Cundy.
Just 125 pages long, this book is bookmarked by two exquisite pieces. . .the forward by former presidential advisor David Gergen and the postscript by a speech from Nelson’s deceased daughter. The single page essays in the rest of the book reveal the heady background of Marilyn Carlson Nelson… from lunch with Madeleine Albright to flying with the Navy Thunderbirds. But all come with a lesson. While the book is good, it isn’t as intriguing as hearing Nelson herself recount many of the stories in person. I’ve heard her give a public talk about authoring the book and it was so much richer than what was written. Perhaps her co-author didn’t convey the special nuances of the anecdotes. In other words,   posted Dec 30, 2008 at 8:42PM

Cover ArtLetter to my daughter
by Maya Angelou
While I’ve never been a big fan of Maya Angelou, I do recommend this little book. Maya shares lovely anecdotes about her life. There are several that I’ve shared with friends. I told them that if world-famous Maya could find herself in embarrassing situations and then tell the tale in her book, I could make minor and major gaffs, too and live through it. Great book to give for the holidays or graduation.   posted Nov 24, 2008 at 12:39AM

Cover ArtPass for 4: Bell Museum of Natural History : museum adventure pass.
I attended a program at the Bell Museum. . . an Art of the Wild Walkabout. A wildlife artist and a museum curator conducted this fascinating 1 hour tour of an exhibit of wildlife art. I learned the historical beginnings of this artform that is so popular today. The Museum has many other programs that are geared to adults or children. I’m so impressed with this institution that I will watch for further programs! Put it on your calendar of events list, too!   posted Nov 24, 2008 at 12:32AM

Cover ArtClapton : the autobiography ,Clapton : the autobiography
by Eric Clapton,Eric Clapton
I agree with Ted’s Review. I lost respect for Clapton due to his social immaturity. Some of these ,I agree with Ted’s Review. I lost respect for Clapton due to his social immaturity. Some of these   posted Nov 19, 2008 at 12:15AM

Cover ArtUnder and alone : the true story of the undercover agent who infiltrated America
by William Queen
Better than any TV show or movie, this book is REALITY! The audio version provides added tension to this amazing true cop tale. If you like police drama, this should be the next book on your reading list. One of the most exciting books I’ve encountered.   posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:43PM

Cover ArtThe secret things of God [compact disc] : unlocking the treasures reserved for y
by Cloud, Henry
Interesting, easy-to-read (or listen to) book. It puts a more reasssuring spin on The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.   posted Apr 9, 2008 at 9:46AM

Cover ArtThree cups of tea : one man’s mission to fight terrorism and build nations-- one
by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
An absolute inspiration! I’ve recounted Mortenson’s story to others and have even read passages to friends. Mortenson sacrificed by sleeping in his dilapidated car, eating modest meals, wearing worn clothing, all to save to build a school he promised to a very remote Pakistani village. Truly a man of his word. It was serendipity that a benefactor came forward to help Mortenson fulfill his promise. The book takes us into high mountain villages and views an Islamic lifestyle we’d likely never experience. His personal sacrifice is astounding. Take the journey into the "up country" of Pakistan. You’ll be forever changed. . . for the better.   posted Mar 4, 2008 at 11:16PM

Cover ArtThe Diana chronicles
by Tina Brown
Since this book was written by Tina Brown, I thought it would be better than the average tell-all. I was disappointed that she used the tell-alls as a lot of her resource materials. In addition, there’s a lot of insider British aristocracy material that Americans wouldn’t be privy to. The book isn’t worthy of the hype.   posted Feb 19, 2008 at 9:41AM

Cover Art90 minutes in heaven : a true story of death & life
by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey
Great little book written in a straight forward manner. What’s just as important as his experience with death is his handling of his recovery from a catastrophic accident including his continued and constant pain. In fact, every driver should read his account and they’d never do a careless act again. And, it’s not a preachy, overyly religious book either. Good book for teens as well as older people. Great gift.   posted Feb 5, 2008 at 1:02PM

Cover ArtTwin Cities picture show : a century of moviegoing
by Kenney, Dave
If you’ve ever attended a movie theatre in the Twin Cities, you’ll want to reminisce with this book. You can read the entire book, or just review the places you use to visit. Found some fascinating facts about the now defunct Cooper Theatre. Great index in the back lists all the theatres, addresses and years of operation.   posted Nov 16, 2007 at 11:58AM

Cover ArtThe Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Paint Effects: Over 150 Fabulous Projects and 1700 Photographs - The Complete Practical Guide and Ideas Book for Decorating Your Home with Special Finishes, Including Step-by-Step Instructions for Guaranteed Results
by Cohen, Sacha
If you are a do-it-yourself painter, add this book to your reference library! From walls to fabric, this book covers it all. And, the techniques seem timeless. Turn your walls into plaid, wood, tile. . . You name it, this book has it. . . all 500+ pages!   posted Nov 16, 2007 at 11:44AM

Cover ArtThank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You
by Norville, Deborah
Nice little book that would make a great gift for young or old. . . or read it yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Several very good and uplifting quotes are highlighted in the book.   posted Nov 7, 2007 at 10:44AM

Cover ArtGiving: How Each of Us Can Change the World
by Clinton, Bill
I was afraid that this would be one long dry tome, but to my surprise it was inspiring, engaging. . . and easy-to-read. Clinton highlights numerous unhearalded charities, many of which are fascinating. While a good book, the last couple of chapters let me down. They were geared toward high-roller givers and government or foundation models. The back of the book has a great list of the charities he discussed along with a website, so the reader can investigate them further. The only other down-side of this book is that it could become outdated in a couple of years, so read it now. . . and be uplifted!   posted Oct 18, 2007 at 11:59AM

Cover ArtAll cats have Asperger Syndrome
by Hoopmann, Kathy
I discovered this book in the HCLIB comments list and what a book it is!!!!!!! What an excellent way to explain any physical or mental condition. . . through the use of simple photos. . . and animal photos at that. I wasn’t familar with this syndrome before, but due to this great book I understand it now. Whether you have this syndrome or not, this book is worth every whisker! It’s definitely a 5 MEOW book!!!   posted Oct 16, 2007 at 12:39PM

Cover ArtSmall Steps: The Year I Got Polio
by Kehret, Peg
I stumbled on to this adolescent book by accident, but I’m glad I did! Peg Kehret writes about her life as a polio patient right here in Minneapolis. The local slant makes it even more appealing. It gives you a glimpse into the polio wards of University Hospital and a specialized polio hospital in existence at that time. An inspiring book for kids AND adults!   posted Oct 10, 2007 at 1:45PM

Cover ArtSaint of 9/11 [DVD] : the true story of Father Mychal Judge
While the subject material is excellent, Father Mychal Judge, the actual video content was disappointing and unbalanced. It definitely zeroed in on the fact that the priest was gay and promoted this prominently throughout the video. Upon further research, I discovered that the film was a project of Equality Forum, a gay organization. Too bad they couldn’t see past their agenda and produce a balanced and inspiring film.   posted Oct 9, 2007 at 10:19PM

Cover ArtNo one cares what you had for lunch : 100 ideas for your blog
by Mason, Margaret
The only appetizing thing about this book is it’s plate of French fries on the cover. The suggested blog topics are silly and a waste of time. The utter uselessness of the topic suggestions at least made me think and then create my own practical blog and posting ideas.   posted Sep 21, 2007 at 10:12AM

Cover ArtReady made : how to make (almost) everything : a do-it-yourself primer
by Berger, Shoshana
A complete waste of paper! The only creative thing about this book is it’s unusual cover and binding! Wait. . . there was ONE good idea. . . how to use a wooden pallet to make a bike rack. Not bad. The rest was useless ideas of using plastic water bottles to make lounge chairs, beer cans as room dividers. . .   posted Sep 20, 2007 at 3:00PM

Cover ArtMaking room : finding space in unexpected places
by Jordan, Wendy Adler
A lot of great ideas in this book, especially if you wish to utilize storage under a stairway. The only problem is that the projects look as if they could be pricey. But, it’s a great book to get you thinking about unused places in your own home and ways you could create your own unique storage idea!   posted Sep 20, 2007 at 2:55PM

Cover ArtWhen God winks : how the power of coincidence guides your life
by Rushnell, Squire D.
Great little book! If you’ve ever wondered or been amazed about those coincidences in your life, Rushnell has the answer for you. The author also gives examples of "God winks" in various people’s lives. And, that’s where the one down-side comes in. . . but only for a page or two. He cites an example of how "God winked" at John Rigas CEO of Adelphia and noted what a great boss he was. Unfortunately, Rigas is now serving a jail sentence for his business dealings and the corporation is gone. Guess one has to be careful as to whom you cite as examples. But that slight blemish should not discourage you from reading this wonderful book. It would be a great Christmas or graduation gift.   posted Sep 15, 2007 at 11:32AM

Cover ArtPopulation, 485 : meeting your neighbors one siren at a time
by Perry, Michael
I’m totally amazed at this author and what he has accomplished. He’s a 1987 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire nursing graduate and has written an utterly fascinating book about small town, New Auburn, its volunteer fire dept. and its cast of characters. Where he comes up with his excellent vocabulary, I’ll never know. He certainly taught me a word or two. . . or maybe a few hundred! Check out his website and blog at www.sneezingcow.com . . . it’s a hoot.   posted Jul 18, 2007 at 10:55AM

Cover ArtThe silence of the loons
by Lake, M. D.
Great way to sample the writings of Minnesota mystery authors. If you find a favorite, then you can read more of their works without being a slave to a long book you don’t enjoy. Thirteen writers, using some of the same clues, churned out these short mystery stories. Some are great. Some not so suspenseful. Perhaps you’ll find a new favorite homegrown author!   posted Jul 16, 2007 at 2:05PM

Cover ArtYou’ve Got to Read This Book!: 55 People Tell the Story of the Book That Changed Their Life
by Canfield, Jack
Interesting accounts of how certain books changed people’s lives. If you’re looking to see what book your favorite celeb or nationally known politician read, forget it. Many of the writers in this book are obscure business people, philosophers, therapists, etc. But, it is still fascinating to learn what sent these people in a positive direction. I even picked up some titles that were suggested. If you get bogged down by some of the authors, skim and move on. Some of the betters works are at the end of the book.   posted Jul 11, 2007 at 10:41AM

Cover ArtMarley & me
by John Grogan
Two paws up for Marley and Me! No wonder this book has been on the Best Seller list for weeks. And, a fast and fascinating read, too. Even if you’re not a dog lover, you will find a message in Grogan’s prose. Marley’s overzealous passion for life has a lesson for all of us. Just get in there and enjoy every day, every aspect of life. Thanks Marley!   posted Jun 29, 2007 at 12:52PM

Cover ArtIt’s okay to miss the bed on the first jump : and other life lessons I learned f
by O'Hurley, John
Great little book filled with a lot of wisdom. In fact, it’s better than those long self-help books that drone on and on. With it’s classic wisdom, this book would make an excellent graduation gift, present for a teen. . . or wrap it up for anyone of any age! A nice little gem!   posted Jun 20, 2007 at 8:00PM

Cover ArtThe not so big life : making room for what really matters
by Susanka, Sarah
Overrated. There are a lot better self-help topics on this subject that are much easier to read and more helpful. Susanka doesn’t seem to have the background to tackle this subject. It’s just a reworking of what other more knowledgeable authors have said. John O’Hurley’s, "It’s Okay to Miss the Bed on the First Jump" is a much more enjoyable read.   posted Jun 19, 2007 at 12:38PM

Cover ArtThis Year You Write Your Novel
by Mosley, Walter
Cool little tool which introduces you to creative writing. Only 103 pages, but packed with info for the first time novelist. Even if you don’t write, the book will make you view that next book you read in an entirely new light. Great insights if you wish to try your hand at non-fiction, too.   posted Jun 19, 2007 at 12:32PM

Cover ArtDo you! : 12 laws to access the power in you to achieve happiness and success
by Simmons, Russell
Seventy-five percent inspiration. Twenty-five percent promotion. That 75% of inspiration in hip-hopper Russell Simmons’ book is straight talk about his "laws" for happiness and success. The first part of the book and the final chapters tend to promote Simmons’ products and personal agenda concerning hip hop. In fact, these sections seem to be in conflict with some of his "laws" for happiness. The no-nonsense, down-to-earth writing easily captures the younger readers’ attention. But there is a solid message for the older reader as well. . . but you just may wish to skim or skip the sections on promoting his hip hop world.   posted Jun 4, 2007 at 12:58PM

Cover ArtPaula Deen : it ain’t all about the cookin’
by Deen, Paula H.
I had a love/hate relationship with Paula Deen’s autobiography. There were sections where she’d repeat, repeat, repeat the same thought and even the same phrasing within 2 pages. And, then there was the "southern style" of writing. While she tried to write with a southern drawl, it became irritating at times. On the other hand, it was quite inspiring to learn how she literally was operating with no cash and yet took her financial risks. She was literally flying by the seat of her pants. You may be disappointed or you may be inspired by this book. . . it depends how you look at it.   posted May 30, 2007 at 12:41PM

Cover ArtWrite it down, make it happen : knowing what you want-- and getting it!
by Klauser, Henriette Anne
Great book. As a professional writer, I was surprised to learn that there were different ways to express your goals and find answers through writing. I’d read this book again. Plus, it’s easy to understand and the suggested writing tasks are simple and fun to perform.   posted May 9, 2007 at 10:26AM

Cover ArtA hand to guide me
by Washington, Denzel
The book is a series of stories or memoirs about mentoring. At first, I was disappointed. It seemed that every story was basically the same. I skipped a few of the memoirs and started reading some of the authors who were of interest to me. The book took on an entirely different dimension after that. It became much more inspiring. My suggestion? Find the authors who pique your curiosity. You’ll enjoy the book more.   posted Apr 23, 2007 at 5:28PM

Cover ArtThe reluctant Tuscan
by Doran, Phil
If you ever dreamed of living in Italy, read this book! It cured me. Funny and entertaining read. While Italy would still be a great place to visit, the author made me remember that there is no place like home. The book is a perfect 10!   posted Mar 23, 2007 at 1:03PM

Cover ArtRescued : saving animals from disaster : life-changing stories and practical sug
by Anderson, Allen
This is a very comprehensive book on pet rescuing agencies. . . maybe a little too comprehensive since it covers many different organizations. If you expect this book to be written accounts solely about rescuing Katrina pets, it isn’t. But it does use the disaster as a basis for the book. It’s a down-to-earth read, one that disaster officials should take into account when planning evacuations. The only disturbing part of the book is that pet rescuers fell into the same disarray as did the evacuators of humans. Hopefully all will learn from this book... even pet owners who should prepare for their own potential evacuations. The book tells what preparations to make.   posted Jan 15, 2007 at 6:06PM

Cover ArtThe Field & stream shooting sports handbook
by McIntyre, Thomas
A good little book if you are new to the shooting sports or if you are undecided as to which discipline you would like to try. I wouldn’t consider it a "handbook" since it isn’t that detailed.   posted Jan 9, 2007 at 9:55AM

Cover ArtBeyond Knowing: Mysteries and Messages of Death and Life from a Forensic Pathologist
by Amatuzio, Janis
BEYOND KNOWING is better than Dr. Amatuzio’s first book, FOREVER YOURS. I don’t know how this doctor does it, but she can definitely write. . . and in a language that is so common to us all! Every time I put the book down, I was drawn back to it. This small-sized book is barely 200 pages, and leaves you wanting to know more. A great feat for any writer. So I hope Dr. Amatuzio has other books in the works. And, if you are fortunate enough to learn that one of her lectures is coming up, I strongly recommend putting it on your calendar. She’s an excellent speaker as well! This book would make a great gift to anyone who is going through a difficult period. But, whoever talked Dr. Amatuzio to be photographed sitting on what looks like a table in the morgue needs to find another profession than photography. That shot is the only downside in this wonderful book.   posted Jan 8, 2007 at 10:40AM

Cover ArtBlood Brothers: Among the Soldiers of Ward 57
by Weisskopf, Michael
Author Michael Weisskopf avoided serving in the Vietnam War, but ends up loosing his hand in the Iraq War as a Time Magazine writer. That in itself is a story, but the book is really about several people who meet in the amputation ward at Walter Reed. While it’s a good read, it isn’t astounding. The story is definitely there. . . more amputations in this war than any other. . ., but I wish Weissfopf would have dealt more with what the eventual future will hold for these soldiers. Will it be success or failure? Let’s hope Weisskopf will do a sequel to follow their lives. If you wish to learn about the forgotten statistics of the Iraq War, read this book.   posted Jan 4, 2007 at 5:38PM

Cover ArtSuccess built to last : creating a life that matters
by Porras, Jerry I.
What do successful people have in common? The authors attempt to answer this vital question. While three-quarters of the book seem to tackle the question, the 250 page book then becomes too "scientific". For the most part, it is easy to read and understand. Plus, it does give some excellent insight into what drives successful people.   posted Jan 4, 2007 at 5:22PM

Cover ArtRiver of doubt : Theodore Roosevelt’s darkest journey
by Millard, Candice
There’s no doubt about it. . . The River of Doubt is a good read. I haven’t read a history book since attending college in the ’70s, but I was captivated by this historical account. I rode the rapids, feared the natives and the jungle, and suffered the starvation along with Roosevelt, Rondon and their entourage. If you haven’t read a history book, you’ll be entranced with this one!   posted Dec 26, 2006 at 5:59PM


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